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Willow City Loop Wildflower Trail-Fredericksburg

April 19, 2010

This has to be one of the best seasons in a long time for wildflowers. With all the rain we have had, the trees are bright and green and there is an abundance of flowers in every color. Recently my husband, Joe, surprised me with a trip to Willow City Loop. “Get up, I’m taking you somewhere.” “O.K., sounds like an adventure!” So I grabbed my camera and we left; that’s how the two of us ended up on a scenic Texas drive.

Some of you might have heard of Willow City Loop. It has been ranked repeatedly as one of the top 10 drives in Texas, and without a doubt I would concur. I have lived in the Hill County for some time, but I have never seen vistas such as the ones on Willow City Loop. Majestic, rugged cliffs tower over bluebonnets, which resembled a blue river flowing down through the valley below. The rugged beauty of the area is awesome; Joe commented that the views on Willow City Loop were as nice as those we saw in Big Bend, and I would have to agree. Amongst the bluebonnets there were sometimes yellow and purple flowers scattered throughout, as well as whole fields of white prickly poppy-absolutely beautiful!

One traveler, Douglass from Massachusetts, was there on a week long vacation. He had read of the beautiful Hill Country scenery on the Willow City Loop and had come to do some painting.

The road known as ‘Willow City Loop’ is very narrow at times. In some places, you need to hug the road in order to pass other cars, and there are many cars – full of sightseers. Due to the crowded road, I suggest going early in the morning or late in the evening. We arrived around 5:30 on a weeknight and still there were many cars. Driving slowly, everyone is enjoying the scenery and snapping pictures. Most people park beside the road and get out to take pictures. Be VERY careful where you park. The land owners here are serious when they say “NO Trespassing.” They get hundreds of cars driving through during the peak wildflower season, and I can only imagine the property damage that could be done should visitors disregard the private property, so when parking or taking pictures, please respect the land and its owners.

To get there from Marble Falls, we decided to head down Hwy 281 and turn off between Round Mountain and Johnson City onto Farm Road 1323 toward Sandy. Farm Road 1323 is also an impressive place to view miles of bluebonnets. Once to Willow City, take Willow City Loop north, which ends up on Hwy 16, circle back south to Farm Rd 1323, and you’ve made the loop. You can also take Hwy 16 out of Llano or Fredericksburg. You’ll have to map out the route best for you (Willow City Loop, Willow City, Texas). The loop is about 22 miles long.

This would be a beautiful bike ride, but be aware that the road is narrow and there are many cars. You might try very early morning. On my next visit, I hope to go early in the morning to view the wildlife, and possibly drive it in the opposite direction to view it from a different perspective.

Of course. by the time we were through it was late and we were hungry, so we stopped in Fredericksburg for dinner. It was a nice ending to a beautiful day.

I hope you get a chance to visit The Loop

~Karin~

p.s. Thanks Joe for a lovely drive!

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